James Clemens High School included safe shelters within their building to shelter students and communities during severe weather

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler remembers is like it was yesterday.

“It was a very scary day, April 27, 2011,” Dr. Fowler said. “As we got to school and started looking at the weather, things got more serious.”

Fortunately, students in Madison City Schools made it home safely that day. After devastation like what north Alabama saw in 2011, Alabama lawmakers decided to do something to better protect the students and staff.

“The state legislature decided that it would be wise that for every new building that was built, every new school house, that there would be a safe room provided to safely accommodate the children and the staff at that school,” Dr. Fowler said.

James Clemens High School has safe rooms in the auditorium and in the auxiliary gym.

“In the 2011 tornadoes it would have given us a great chance of standing up to those tornadoes,” Assistant Principal Eric Terrell said.

The storm shelters can withstand winds of 250 miles per hour and hold all students, faculty and staff in the event of a tornado. When students are not on campus, it is open to the community for shelter from the storm.

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